Continuing the discussion from The Nahployment 'Crisis':
We have had our short-staffed sign up for six months. Lack of staff is adversely affecting patient care. This translates to wait times upwards of twenty, sometimes forty minutes for walk-in patients (only seeing the physician gets a scheduled appointment, other services are walk-in). Multiple patients have derided management to my face, perhaps unaware that I am management just covering the desk. We have fired three patients who lost their temper and cursed out staff.
We have essentially had two full-time openings for four months (!). This is an office that normally employs five full-time employees, and three part-time.
Since March I personally called no less than three hundred applicants. Roughly eighty interviews made it onto our schedule. Fifteen showed up.
Seven were viable candidates, by which I mean they are okay with the description, hours, and benefits. Of those seven we offered to hire six (one no-showed the first interview and we offered someone else the job that afternoon). Not at once you see, when we make the offer we then have to wait two weeks for them to give notice.
Of the six who took the offer, two showed up for their first day. Both were emailed employment contracts beforehand.
Of the two who showed up for the first day, one never returned after the lunch break. She didn’t return my calls. There was no indication why - we were concerned she may have gotten into a car accident or something. That night she texted me that the hours (as written on her signed contract and emailed to her weeks ago) were unacceptable.
The second hire we had waited three weeks for her house to close, because we were (are) desperate. She gave it her all for training week and decided she didn’t like this kind of job after all. Very politely, she quit on Monday morning, effective… immediately. We were forced to cancel all of our patients for that day due to lack of staff.
We ended up re-hiring an ex-employee who had resigned years ago for personal reasons. She had been back for five days… then on Tuesday a family member she had seen over the weekend tested positive for COVID-19. This employee is now home self-isolating.
We have some patients who are nurses at other doctor’s offices. I have overheard them talking about staff shortages at their offices, ‘if Dr. X doesn’t hire somebody soon, I’m quitting. There’s only one of me.’
My employees are at their limit. I know it, they tell me. Even patients tell me. The employee that resigned in January was moving away, but the one that resigned in March almost certainly did so because she was overstressed by the staff shortage.
One thing we ask applicants who are currently employed is, why are you leaving your current job? I have noticed people are now writing, “staffing issues”.
To replace the employee who quit on Monday we are now trying to hire that seventh interviewee, who had no-showed her first interview. She has since taken another job, but doesn’t like it there. This afternoon she decided she would rather work for us after all. I asked her when she could start, and she told me next Monday…